The Guardian’s Technology column has a few words on the apparent reluctance of the public to embrace e-books. They cite this parallel with the nascent digital music industry.
The real reason that the music industry came around to the idea of downloads wasn’t because they had a startling insight into the future, or even because Apple forced the issue by building a clever ecosystem around the iPod (it didn’t launch the iTunes store until 2003). It was because customers were choosing to pirate instead.
I’m not sure I buy this argument. For my part, I was sold on the idea of music on my computer (it happened to be a PC in my student digs) just because it was convenient. E-books may or may not be a target for pirates. I rather think, though, that audiobooks are much the riper for the picking. (Cf. This recent talk by Stephen Fry in which he evangelises audiobooks.)
Carry on, m’hearties.